Timothee Chalamet, who was nominated for an Oscar for his breakout performance in Call Me by Your Name, is in negotiations to star in Dune, Legendary’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel being directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Villeneuve, the filmmaker behind Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival, is also producing the feature adaptation along with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter.
The novel, initially published in the 1960s, tackles political, religious and environmental themes through a sci-fi lens, telling the complex story of a fallen noble family’s attempt to control a desert planet named Arrakis and its export, a rare spice drug, while being betrayed by a galactic emperor.
Paul Atreides is the lead character, the son of the ruler of the family, who is forced to escape into the desert wastelands and partner with its nomadic tribes. Using enhanced mental abilities, he eventually rises to become their ruler, with the nomads believing he is their messiah, and leads an army to overthrow the empire.
The novel, which launched a book series that lasted beyond Herbert’s death, was first adapted into a 1984 film directed by David Lynch with Kyle MacLachlan as the lead and which bombed at the box office.
Legendary is eyeing an early 2019 production start.
Chalamet is repped by UTA and Ginsburg Daniels.